“The first time I got punched, I think that was the best feeling of my life.” So says Brandon Thysse, who at 18 confirmed to himself that boxing does actually run in his blood.
Brandon is the son of South African boxer Andre Thysse, who made a name for himself on the local scene in the early 2000s and went on to fight in the UK, Canada, Germany, Australia and Denmark.
But Brandon didn’t see boxing as a natural path to take, in fact, Andre encouraged his two sons to explore other paths. Brandon tried his hand at high jump, cricket and rugby but at 18 he stepped into the ring.
“I can’t describe it. I’ve never felt a rush like that before (after taking a punch),” Brandon explains.
“I’d never felt that rush and adrenalin. It was like living on the edge. You really need to have a love for the sport for you to have that mentality. It takes a special kind of person to enjoy that.”
Brandon was set on a path towards the professional league with the support of both parents and some of the biggest names in the sport – Harold Volbrecht and later Damien Durandt and Golden Gloves.
In the beginning Brandon had to deal with his father’s legacy casting a shadow over everything he’d done, and then later with the fact that the big guns were in his corner.
“Having a father that was in boxing – he’s fought some of the best in the world – was not easy. But trying to fill someone else’s shoes is not the right thing to do.
“As I grew as a boxer and as a person, I realised I needed to make my own shoes. I need to make my mark. You have to make your own path.”
Brandon is aware that he benefitted from the network his dad had set up but he’s determined to do his own thing.
“I probably got a few more fights in the beginning than most other fighters because of my dad so there were pros and cons.”
But while questions about his dad’s influence on his life are relentless, Brandon is quick to point out how much of a rock his mom Linda has been.
“My mom is an amazing lady. She was always there and to this day, I still get messages from her checking on me to see if I need anything,” he gushes.
“That support from a mother is amazing. You can’t get that from anywhere else, no other family member even. Having my mom there and always in my corner… I wouldn’t trade that for anything. It’s a security blanket.”
Brandon will face Roarke Knapp at the 4@War event at Emperors Palace on November 30.
(Accredited By SuperSport)